Klatovy is a West Bohemian district town lying in the Šumava foothills, 42 km south of Pilsen. The town is sometimes called the “Gateway to Šumava”. The Royal City of Klatovy was founded by Ottokar II around 1260. Klatovy was conveniently located near the country’s western border near the trade route from Bohemia to Bavaria.
The town’s dominant feature is the Black Tower and the town hall building, both buildings are from the 16th century. Next to them, on the square in the town centre, is the Baroque Church of the Immaculate Conception and St. Ignatius. Under the church are the Klatovy Catacombs, underground spaces used for interring the Jesuits as well as those who were not members of the order. Another important religious building is the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary with the pilgrimage image of Our Lady of Klatovy. Besides a number of interesting sights the town also offers its visitors cultural activities. Since 1993 Klatovy has held the annual International Folklore Festival, which attracts folklore groups from many countries. The festival is connected to the Klatovy Pilgrimage, which is not just a cultural but also a religious event in which a parade goes through the town with an image of the Virgin Mary of Klatovy.
Klatovy is 40 km to the South of Pilsen and it is 130 km from Prague by car. There are frequent bus and train connections from Pilsen and Prague that go directly to Klatovy.